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Comment Re:We are all tracking the reality of things, righ (Score 2) 174

Yes, they will, but that's not really a bad thing. You can give accurate results well before the 99% mark in almost every election. Certain districts have a very repeatable voting pattern (meaning a district will vote nearly all republican or democrat in every election), and you can get voter turn out numbers well before results are counted. In addition, polling data, exit polls, and statistics can give you a prediction, and if the first 15% of the results are following the pattern, you can say with a reasonable amount of mathematical certainty that the rest of the results will follow. As most races are not decided by only a few hundred votes, it's not even an interesting math problem...

As long as the results are not posted until after everyone has had a chance to vote, it really doesn't matter. Google (or anyone) could wait until 30 minutes after the polls close, and no one is left in line, and declare that New York has been won by Jill Stein. While that would almost certainly be incorrect, it wouldn't impact the results of the election, as no one is still voting. It would make for an interesting night of TV, but otherwise, who cares what the result predictions are? The only thing that matters is what is certified by the state official in charge of certifying elections.

Comment Re:We are all tracking the reality of things, righ (Score 1) 174

Although the practice has been stopped after the 2000 election, it used to be common place for network television to call results of elections before the polls even closed. This was done based entirely on exit polls and previous polling data. After the debacle in the 2000 election where Florida was called for Bush (before the polls closed), then back to undecided (I think after the polls closed), then to Bush again, then (if I remember correctly) Gore, the Easter Bunny, Elmer Fudd, and finally, "we have no idea"... all of which left a bunch of people very upset before they even got into the issues of the "butterfly ballot".

Google can have the same data that the networks used to have, but can wait to post it until 1 second after the polls close. Which is technically following the rules, but is still a bad idea. One of the main issues that people had in Florida was that the state was called while the western part of the state still had polls open, and some reports surfaced of people leaving the polls and going home after the state was called, since their vote didn't matter any more. You can debate the validity of those reports, but it is possible that people could still be in line at polls after the closing time, and see the results on their phones leading to exactly the same issue as 2000. In more contested districts, it is more common to have longer lines at the polls, which can mean that people technically vote after the poll close times, if they arrived before that time. People waiting in line and giving up based on speculated information, like what Google will be providing, is exactly what happened before.

Comment Re:Stick a fork in.... (Score 1) 612

Wow, I will try to respond rationally. According to all polls, the margin between Hillary and Trump is within a few percentage points. While I am not a fan of either candidate, I do feel that the country would be far, far worse off if Trump is elected. If I vote for a third party candidate, I am giving up the small voice I have to try to block Trump.
The current system we have for voting in the United States is a first past the post election system. To understand why I (and others) mathematically can't vote for third parties without hurting themselves, I refer you to this video.

I hope that will help you understand why I would vote for a candidate I don't love, over one I detest. Or you can continue in your ignorance to consider me a "fucking asshole", and go about your day.

Comment Re:Stick a fork in.... (Score 1) 612

I'm sorry. For the sake of brevity, I did not provide a detailed list of all the things Donald Trump has said or done that in my opinion make him a worse option. I will refrain from doing so now, but if you would like a list, I refer you to anything Trump has said, ever. Full stop.

I do not believe that voting for the only viable candidate that is not named Trump is "abject stupidity", merely the only rational choice in a very distressed election cycle.

Comment Re:Stick a fork in.... (Score 0, Troll) 612

The report generated by the FBI regarding their investigation of Clinton was worse than this. The responses to direct questions made HC look at the very best completely incompetent.

Having said that, I would vote for Hillary Clinton even if you could prove that she was a functional illiterate who's only thought processes centered around how to break the law. That option would still be miles ahead of the competition.

Comment Re: Corrects multipath problem. (Score 1) 63

My first thought would be not entirely, although it would make life simpler. The signal will be seen directly, and from reflections from the ground (or in this case roof). You would limit the reflections from nearby walls, interruptions due to cover (like trees), etc. and the reflections would be fairly constant. It would not eliminate them, however.

Comment Re:I seem to have missed something... (Score 1) 104

Yes, I understand this. I understand that they can look for most common answers among correct control responses, and crowd source the OCR of difficult street view images. My point is that is not what the experiment is doing. The point of the experiment is to determine if these images are as effective as the current images used in the tests. For the purposes of that experiment, it would be much easier (and probably more scientifically accurate) to use images where the correct answer is already known. As Google already has a large number of those images where it has extracted street names and numbers, they would have a large sample size to use for this experiment. They do not need, at this point, to use the unknown images.

If the experiment shows the street view images are equally effective, people can debate whether it's ok to have random web users do your OCR for you. Until then I'm not going to panic.

Comment I seem to have missed something... (Score 4, Informative) 104

I have read the quote from Google about what they are doing several times, and I don't see what everyone else sees. It appears to me that they are using the already known street names and numbers as possible ReCAPTCHA images. What they are NOT doing is using the results given by people to define what the image says. The point of the experiment is to determine whether these images are sufficient to separate people from web-bots. I imagine that they will look at the number of 'wrong' answers from both sides of the test, and see if bots are able to parse the street view images significantly more often than the standard test images.

So... can anyone point to something in the Google quote to show me where I went wrong? From TFA, here is the quote:

We’re currently running an experiment in which characters from Street View images are appearing in CAPTCHAs. We often extract data such as street names and traffic signs from Street View imagery to improve Google Maps with useful information like business addresses and locations. Based on the data and results of these reCaptcha tests, we’ll determine if using imagery might also be an effective way to further refine our tools for fighting machine and bot-related abuse online.

Comment Re:$25/30d - shipping + ??? = profit? (Score 1) 150

At end of product life cycle (when a new, shinier iPad comes out, for example), old stock could be offloaded through places like Amazon, which already provides for selling of used electronics. This business plan is very similar to what car rental agencies have used for quite a while.

Comment Re:He's probably right. (Score 2) 352

Trying to do much REAL WORK(tm) on a tablet is an exercise in frustration

I have seen quotes similar to this by several CEOs, including from Microsoft. I really think this more than anything shows a lack of vision. We currently have laptops with docking stations that people can set up to use both a "desktop computer" they carry easily from work and home. While these are ok, they are typically limited to a specific make (and often model) of laptop. A shift to a more generic docking station is hopefully not too far off. As the processor market continues to evolve, I think we will start to see something similar for tablets. While on the go, you can maybe do simple things, like browse the web, etc. When you get home or to work, it plugs in and becomes your computer. Longer term, the same may be true even for phones, although that may be a decade or more from now.

I can imagine buying a "monitor" with a sort of universal phone jack on the back of it. You get one for home, work provides one at the office. Coffee shops install a few of them for pretentious writer types. You carry your computer with you as you do a phone now, and wherever you go you plug it into a monitor that has a keyboard & mouse. Imagine if every computer you logged into (by connecting your phone) had the same OS, desktop, all of you files, applications, contacts, internet connection (from the phone), etc.

Dismissing the tablet (and phone) as never replacing the computer is probably short sighted. Will there still be high end systems? Of course. Some consumers will always either have or want more processing power, be it for regression modelling, compiling, ego boosting, or whatever else. For the majority of people.. if you can buy a phone that has the processing power to do everything you need, buying a full power PC becomes a lot less interesting.

Comment Re:Not to take sides (Score 3, Insightful) 1003

While this is true, it misses the larger issue. There are a number of factors that change driving performance. Eating while driving has a similar effect to talking on a cell phone, much like applying makeup, shaving, etc. In contrast, having a second person (or more) seems to improve driving performance. A young child who is sleeping in the back seat can greatly improve performance, while a small child who is screaming and crying has a negative effect.

If we want to use the logic "it hurts performance", we should ban all electronic devices, and have the radios in cars have 1 big button that can turn on or off road information messages. We should ban all eating while driving. We should require any children that are in cars to be drugged and remain unconscious, and it should be illegal to drive without a second person in the car. That would, statistically, increase driving performance across the board.

Banning cell phones simply because they can be shown to have a negative performance is singling out a single cause because we don't like it. Instead, as usual, the problem is larger and more problematic to fix. Personally, it comes down to how much risk we, as a society, are willing to accept. The current rates of traffic accidents and fatalities are lower than they have been in previous years[*]. Personally, I am comfortable with the current level of risk when I step into a vehicle, either to drive or to ride as a passenger. If society, in general, would like to make changes to improve those numbers, we should have a realistic discussion about what would changes would help, how much each change would help, and what cost would be associated with each change. Simply pointing out one cause, and removing it, without addressing any other issues, is simply punishing a behavior based on personal bias.


Heroic Engineer Crashes Own Vehicle To Save a Life 486

scottbomb sends in this feel-good story of an engineer-hero, calling it "one of the coolest stories I've read in a long time." "A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — 'there was no time to take a vote' — Innes kicked into engineer mode. 'Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together,' Innes explained."

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